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Today

The Making of a Modern Museum: The Hewitt Sisters

Bard Graduate Center 38 West 86th St, New York, NY

When New Yorkers utter the phrase “Cooper Hewitt,” it typically brings to mind the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, housed in Andrew Carnegie’s mansion on 91st Street and Fifth Avenue. Far less renowned are the institution’s 19th-century women patrons, who made their family names synonymous with achievements in art and design. Sue Shutte, the historian […]

How Victorian Valentines Made Hearts Soar

Bard Graduate Center 38 West 86th St, New York, NY

Nancy Rosin, president of the National Valentine Collectors Association, has made a “passionate obsession” for more than 40 years out of historical love and friendship cards, keepsakes and related ephemera. Her lecture will reveal the visual and structural wonders of Victorian Valentines. Surfaces were richly textured with gilded lace and high-relief embossing, and cards were […]

Devil’s Mile: The Rich, Gritty History of the Bowery

Bard Graduate Center 38 West 86th St, New York, NY

Victorian times were all about the suppression of anything salacious, as Alice Sparberg Alexiou, author of the new book, Devil’s Mile: The Rich, Gritty History of the Bowery, will explain. The era’s prudery just increased the urge to experience sex and weirdness—all commodities then were readily available on the Bowery. This is where the action […]

Free

Treading the Borders: Immigration and the Victorian Stage

Bard Graduate Center 38 West 86th St, New York, NY

Maria Bonfati in the Black Crook. Oil on Canvas. ca. 1866. “Treading the boards” is a colloquial theatrical expression that refers to the wooden planks of the stage upon which performers ply their trade. Dr. Matthew Wittmann, curator of the Harvard Theatre Collection at Hougton Library, will highlight a simple but signficant point – much […]

Free

The Secret Surgery on Grover Cleveland: Cancer and Politics in the Gilded Age

Bard Graduate Center 38 West 86th St, New York, NY

On July 1, 1893, President Grover Cleveland boarded a friend’s yacht, sailed into the calm blue waters of Long Island Sound and disappeared. The events of the next five days were so incredible that even when the truth was revealed, many Americans simply would not believe it. Matthew Algeo, author of The President is a […]

Free